by Stephanie McDonald

New research facility in WA will help support cloud uptake

Mar 13, 20132 mins
Cloud ComputingGovernment

A CSIRO joint venture will team up with Curtin University for a new facility that aims to enhance research capabilities.

The facility will integrate Curtin University’s information and communication technology (ICT) services and supercomputers at iVEC, a joint venture between the CSIRO and four Western Australian universities.

iVEC@Curtin will provide a one-stop shop for Curtin researchers requiring ICT assistance, which has become necessary as research shifts to more complex data sets. It will also support the uptake of cloud computing resources.

“iVEC@Curtin will provide the opportunities to pursue active research programs by focusing on investment on people rather than expensive laboratory infrastructure and this will enable researchers to contend with the ever-growing volumes of data which has become the norm of contemporary research,” Professor Graeme Wright, deputy vice-chancellor research and development, said in a statement.

The facility will be staffed by director Florian Goessmann, three Curtin IT services staff members and 15 staff members associated with iVEC programs and resources.

“Engagement and [the] uptake of the latest ICT technology is going to become more important every year, and while radio astronomy, computational chemistry and physics are the main fields using supercomputing technology at Curtin, it is exciting to see an increase of other fields such as humanities and health sciences engaging in it too,” Goessmann said.

iVEC was formed in 2000 and is partly funded from the Western Australian government, the federal government and iVEC partners.

In August last year it was announced a $4 million terascale supercomputer, Fornax, would be operated by iVEC.

The Fornax will be “at the heart” of Australia and New Zealand’s co-hosting responsibilities for the Square Kilometre Array radio telescope.

The supercomputer is part of the $80 million Pawsey Centre project and will used by the University of Western Australia to carry out computational research.

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